Second Friday of Advent
The law of the Lord is his joy; and on his law he meditates day and night . He is like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; Its leaves never whither; whatever he does prospers.
I was a clandestine child of the fields and tree lines and creeks.
It was where I felt peace from the wild rumpus of our house. It was where I felt invisible friends that took the form of streaming water with sun glinting, or breezes breathing through the veins of leaves, or the songs of birds becoming a bright blue sky in the thickets of a gray day, or the rough skin of trees I would shimmy up and sit for hours in: safe, hidden, connected to the glory of God in ways I didn’t know but felt. And what I felt mostly in my time there was joy. Joy that would run full out over the stream's meanderings: racing over stones aired out; stepping skills as I leapt down the curving thread of creek light; as I kept my feet above the water; the abyss of nothingness; of all that was inexplicable and painful. This was an art form. This was living in the moment. This was joy. But it was fleeting and elusory and fairy like: appearing and disappearing like mists through the arms of morning.
In so many ways I have sought the creek bed joy. The existential running over the stones of life; of conditional joy.
Now, so far from the undergrowth of childhood, from that blazing unfurling over shimmering water, I find myself in a deeper wood, on a different creek, still leaping from stone to stone in the currents of exiling sins;
of all the flawed and broken.
Now, listening for the singing streams of our Lord
winding through this heart of wood;
these leaves surrendering in His forests
of branching joy
in every direction